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Commerce Subject Guide: COMM 2311: Organizational Behaviour

A guide to key databases, reference & web sources, and research & citation guides for Commerce.

Commerce 2311: Organizational Behaviour

Research Guide: Term Research Project

Winter 2017

This is a brief guide to selected information sources and research tips to get you started with the Term Research Project in this course. 

Clarifying OB Concepts & Theories
Finding Sources
Citing Sources


Clarifying OB Concepts & Theories:

It is important to be able to clearly define and understand the concepts and theories you will be researching. For clarification, search terms and variations, and references to key issues, people and sources, start with a good textbook or reference book. For example:

Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. HF 5548.8 .E498 2007 REF. (2 v.)
- Brief, but useful articles explain OB theories, concepts, research methods and issues.

Encyclopedia of Management Theory. HD 30.15 .E493 2013 REF. (2 v.)
- Describes the main frameworks, theories and schools of thought informing management practice.

The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology. HF 5548.8 .O94 2012 Book Stacks (2 v.)
- Advanced summaries of the latest research and issues in the field, with references.

Sage Handbook of Organizational Behavior. HD 58.7 .S24 2008 REF (2 v.)
- Has interesting essays on OB issues summarizing and listing key research papers.


Finding Books, Articles, and other Sources:

The library has several books on dysfunctional and exceptional companies.  Search the library catalogue by company name, or by the relevant issue as a keyword. (If no relevant information is found, please ask for assistance at the Research Help Desk or by contacting the Commerce Librarian.

Find articles by searching the library's article databases listed in the "A-Z List of Databases" on the library home page. 

Recommended databases for academic articles: ABI/INFORM, Canadian Business & Current Affairs (CBCA) and others in ProQuest (can be searched together), and PsycINFO, PsycArticles, Business Source Premier, SocINDEX (these are all EBSCO databases and can be searched together).

Recommended databases for other kinds of articles (news, trade, professional, popular press, etc.):  Search ProQuest(All), or select the databases within it that apply to your topic, and LexisNexis (especially for U.S. and international business sources).



Limit search to only scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles where available.

Use Boolean operators to focus searches:

Use "AND" to combine keywords (narrow the search) e.g. employees and benefits

Use "OR" to search for synonyms or variants of a term (broaden the search) e.g. stocks or shares

Use parentheses when using 2 or more Boolean operators, e.g. employees and (stocks or shares)

Use " " (quotation marks) for a phrase (2 or more words together in the same order) e.g. "stock options"

Use * (truncation symbol) to get the root word and all possible endings e.g. "organizational behavi*"

Use ? (wildcard symbol) to replace a character within a word that can vary e.g. organi?ational

Change the search field to be more specific e.g. keywords in Abstract rather than in full text, or use the Company Name field

Use subject terms where available (see in records found or by using the database thesaurus) to find articles specifically about the topic, and to search for concepts that have many keyword variants

Select methodology where possible: e.g. in PsycINFO: "empirical research". In ABI/INFORM,  classification code 9130 for "experimental & theoretical treatment"

Use other limiters where relevant (e.g. NAICS code for type of industry (in BSP & ABI or classification code for broad topic areas (ABI & PsycINFO)

Consider re-sorting results by date to see the most recent articles first

Take note of other relevant search terms found while searching and modify searches as needed.

If the full text is not immediately available, click on the "Find @ MTA" link to get to the full text article in another database.

NOTE:  You can use JOURNAL FINDER directly (see Quick Links on the library homepage) to access articles for which you have a reference or citation from other sources.

Company Information:

Besides a company's own website, there are several specialized sources that contain information about companies, either submitted by the companies themselves (e.g. public financial reports to SEDAR or EDGAR, annual reports, CSR or other reports), business analysts reports, government databases (e.g. occupational safety infractions, labour relations issues, etc.) Many of these databases are not searchable using an Internet search. If you find references to issues you would like more information on, please contact the Commerce Librarian.


Citing Sources:

The library website links to information about citing sources (See "Research Help" tab).  Included there is a collection of tip sheets on citing sources using APA style:

See: Research Help: Cite Your Sources: APA Style Guides

The full APA Publication Manual is available in the library at: BF 76.7 .P83 REF. and at the Research Help Desk.

Need help? Reference Librarians are available to help you at the Research Help Desk on the main floor of the library and at

For questions relating to research in Commerce courses you can also contact Anita Cannon, Commerce Librarian.